Programs and Centers
Programs and centers at the College of Law support and foster a diverse and experiential legal education for our students.
Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law
Promoting the practice of business law
The Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law seeks to improve the training of business lawyers in both transactional and litigation practices through the concentration in business transactions for JD candidates, the LLM program in United States business law, Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, a visiting professor program, faculty and student scholarship, field placement opportunities, the Business Law Clinic, the Trademark Clinic, the Homer A. Jones Jr. Wills Clinic, and presentations for the business bar and community, both regionally and nationwide. The Clayton Center offers a variety of real-world experiences for students pursuing a business law focus, including research associateships and field placement opportunities with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex, among others.
Concentration in Business Transactions
The concentration in business transactions is a curricular pathway for law students at the College of Law who are interested in careers in law and business. Many of the faculty members that teach within the concentration have practiced with prestigious law firms and are uniquely qualified to mold a curriculum that merges practical experience and black letter law, theory, and policy. In addition to the concentration in business transactions, the center has developed a number of advanced transactional drafting courses that follow the contract drafting course, itself one of the requirements for the concentration. These courses include commercial leasing, construction law, mergers and acquisitions, and software licensing. The center also offers a variety of resources for business lawyers in various areas, from antitrust to tax law. The online resources are compiled and maintained by the editors of Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law. The Clayton Center also offers online CLE courses based on its recent conferences and programs. The namesake of the Clayton Center is James L. Clayton, a 1964 graduate of the College of Law who is the founder of Knoxville-based Clayton Homes Inc. (now a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway) and CEO of Clayton Bancorp.
The Clayton Center hosts UT Law’s LLM degree program. The Master of Laws (LLM) in United States business law is an advanced law degree for practicing lawyers with a Juris Doctor (JD) or its foreign equivalent (for example, a Bachelor of Law degree). The LLM program brings internationally trained lawyers together for a one-year program that will enhance their ability to practice in a global marketplace by providing specialized knowledge in United States business law. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the Tennessee and New York bar exams, provided they satisfy each bar’s requirements.
Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law was founded in 1998 by a group of law students at the College of Law with the assistance and support of Professor Carl Pierce, then the director of the Clayton Center. The first issue was published in May 2000. Since that time, the journal has evolved into a traditional law review. Transactions aims to publish articles that are both scholarly and practical, addressing issues of importance to those working in the field of business law in the Southeast and nationwide.
Visiting Professor Program
The Clayton Center offers a Visiting Professor Program to attract individuals who are interested in teaching business law courses and who are seeking to enter the academy from private practice. This includes the program for the Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance and Investor Rights. Successful applicants must have a strong academic background and substantial, relevant practice experience. Preference may be given to those applicants who are seeking to enter the academy from private practice or those seeking to make a contribution to the academy or the College of Law community through teaching and scholarship before returning to the private practice of law. The program is a one-semester opportunity and is in no way a prelude to other employment with the College of Law. Current and past visiting professors (and their current institutional affiliations) include:
- Craig Raysor (solo practitioner), 2016–2017
- Kevin Conboy (Paul Hastings), 2014–2016
- Jennifer Sheridan (Earle Mack School of Law, Drexel University), 2012
- Christyne J. Vachon (University of Massachusetts School of Law), 2011
- Brian Krumm (UT Law), 2010
- Carolyn A. Rowland (Bryan Cave & Affiliates), 2010
- R. Jeffrey Kelleher (private practice), 2009
- John C. Chobot (private practice), 2008
- James Van Nostrand (Perkins Coie, West Virginia University College of Law), 2007
- Jonathan Friedland (Levenfeld Pearlstein), 2006
The Clayton Center sponsors field placements with local non-profit entities and business ventures on a for-credit basis and a paid basis during the summer. Recent field placements have included work with the general counsel’s offices of both Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex and the Regulatory Compliance Office for UT Athletics.